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HMS Victorious To Be Modernised

Library image of Vanguard-class submarine HMS Victorious returning to her home port [Crown Copyright: PO (Phot) Ian Arthur]

UK ballistic missile submarine HMS Victorious will be modernised under a new £560 million contract following an agreement with Babcock.

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Press Release, Whitehall, 01 March 2024: One of the UK’s ballistic missile submarines – HMS Victorious – will be modernised under a new £560 million contract following an agreement with Babcock as part of the Government’s plan to keep the UK safe. More than 1,000 jobs will be sustained in Plymouth and the surrounding south-west region. Maintenance work will see the modernisation and upgrade of the submarine.

As one of the Vanguard Class submarines, HMS Victorious is a key component of the UK’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent, which helps protect our freedoms every minute of every day. For nearly 55 years, there has always been a Royal Navy ballistic missile submarine at sea. Armed with strategic nuclear missiles, these submarines have acted as the nation’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrence, sending a clear message to potential aggressors.

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said: “In an increasingly dangerous world, it is crucial that we continue to invest in one of our most important assets, our nuclear deterrent.

“This is another UK partnership with Babcock, that will help keep the UK safe, while boosting the local economy and supporting 1,000 jobs.

“On my recent visit to HMNB Devonport it was a privilege to speak with sailors and staff whose work directly contributes to our national security.”

It follows a £750 million funding boost to the Devonport naval base, announced in November 2023, that will significantly improve the infrastructure. Creating around 1,000 construction roles, the work will also support maintenance of existing and future submarines, and enhance the dockyard’s ability to deliver major defence projects. Babcock has brought new delivery and repair techniques to the programme, drawing in experience from their wider group and other sectors. These innovations have been targeted at the most complex areas of this project to reduce time and risk in delivery.

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell said: “The Royal Navy performs no more important mission than Operation RELENTLESS, the continuous at sea strategic deterrent patrols which have been performed by our submariners uninterrupted since 1969.

The mission requires an unprecedented national effort in support, maintaining our Vanguard-class submarines to the very highest engineering standards. The overhaul of HMS Victorious will allow the boat to carry out deterrent patrols until the next generation of submarines, the Dreadnought-class, enter service.

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “Delivering the programme for this vital and complex defence asset is our top priority. We are proud to have been awarded this complex defence programme which will use our deep engineering expertise to help keep the UK safe.

The south-west recently became the country’s Marine and Maritime Launchpad, recognising its leadership in the sector. The area will receive an additional £7.5 million in funding to support outstanding innovation projects within maritime. The shipbuilding enterprise directly supports over 43,000 jobs across the country, with over 19,000 employed in the Southwest alone.

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